Last updated on: 4/6/2020 1:06:56 PM PST
Should the US Expand Vote-by-Mail?
Vote-by-mail, also called absentee voting, allows people to cast their votes by mailing in a ballot instead of going to a polling place on election day. Concerns about the impact of coronavirus on upcoming elections raised the issue of setting up vote-by-mail across the country.
As of Apr. 2020, voters in an estimated 17 states must provide a reason to request a mail-in ballot, such as being out of town or having an injury that prevents them from voting in person. Five states already hold their elections by mail-in ballot, and the rest provide absentee ballots upon request with no excuse needed.
"I think we should be looking to all-mail ballots across the board to begin with because it’s an easier way for people to vote. But whether or not that’s required across the board in all 50 states and territories, I’m not sure yet. I think we can make that. But we should be beginning to plan that in each of our states… I think it’s worth looking at, quickly."
Source: Meet the Press, Twitter.com, Mar. 29, 2020
"The uncertainties of the coronavirus pandemic make mail-in balloting the only way to ensure all voters can vote in November. The federal government should enact a program with funding and standards to mail all registered voters a mail-in ballot for the November election. The program should provide sufficient funding to print and pay postage for tens of millions of mail-in ballots and envelopes, including postage for pre-paid return envelopes. It should ensure that all registered voters receive a ballot automatically, can request a replacement if they don’t, and can return it by Election Day. It should provide sufficient funding to ensure that the human and technological resources, like ballot scanners to count votes quickly and accurately are in place. This program should be enacted immediately in order to get the system in place by the November election. The mail-in ballot program will have the added benefit of creating an auditable paper trail for recounts."
Source: Howie Hawkins, "Green Party of Colorado Questionnaire," howiehawkins.us (accessed June 24, 2020)
"I think a lot of people cheat with mail-in voting... It shouldn’t be mail-in voting. It should be: You go to a booth and you proudly display yourself. You don’t send it in the mail where people pick up — all sorts of bad things can happen by the time they signed that, if they sign that — if they signed that by the time it gets in and is tabulated.
No, it shouldn’t be mailed in. You should vote at the booth. And you should have voter ID, because when you have voter ID, that’s the real deal."
Source: White House, "Remarks by President Trump, Vice President Pence, and Members of the Coronavirus Task Force in Press Briefing," whitehouse.gov, Apr. 3, 2020
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